Friday, December 7, 2012

Health and weight after pregnancy

In this blog throughout the years, I've always tried to stand up for a more healthier ideal when it comes to the female body, which means I would never post a diet trick or anything like that. My personality when it comes to food, wine and other delicacies is true Italian and French. I eat and live my life with a lot of pleasure and passion and it would never go hand in hand with a diet. I've had my doubts about my body and me in the late puberty and early twenties like most girls and women out there unfortunately, were I thought I was terrible ugly and hated parts of my body. But since the age of 25 years old, everything changed and food was not an enemy; it was life, health and love and I started to accept myself and who I was: but also kept focus on what I wanted to develop.
It all starts in the mind and when you realise how easy it is to keep yourself in a healthy shape that you like, you just have to follow it for the rest of your life (with small adaptions) and learn how to read it and listen to it. Our flesh, blood and mind has a particular way of being very informative when it comes to what we need and should consume, or not consume. But you need to live with your body and mind, not go against it's natural instincts and needs.

Everyone needs food, water, vitamins and minerals. We need some daily exercise to strengthen the mind as well as our muscles and the blood system feels more vital and energetic by getting some extra heart contractions through more physical activities. Depending on what you aim for, it's rather easy to get these various points together if you want to pursue a healthy lifestyle where you can eat mostly what you want in normal sizes and exercise in a more daily basis. It's always better to do something smaller regular and every day then super hard two times per week. One should also be careful with the abuse of food in both directions. Starving yourself and the next minute indulge into a mountain of trash food is always a destructive behaviour. Food is nutrition and life, if you haven't already got that relationship in order in your grown up years, it's about time you start working on it to be able to enjoy it fully for the rest of your life without anxiety and regrets.

Take in, that this is what works best for me, but in general we can all live by this in one way or another with small corrections for yourself that feels good. This is already said and written about ten thousand times and it's not Einstein, but sometimes we need to be reminded about how easy it is if you make it a lifestyle rather than a short time goal for a bikini season.
I've inherited good genes I have to admit, or I think so anyhow, it's hard to tell because I'm brought up with this mentality and home cooked, healthy food with lots of vegetables was always a part of my nutrition's when growing up. Exercise also, mainly because of my mother taken well care of her body and mind without getting obsessed. She was always a little curvy, but it was not only for the weight she taught me all of this, mainly because the body is our temple and we should take really good care of it in our life. We owe it to it. Which leads me on to today's post. 

Last couple of month I've got comments, emails and questions here and on my Instagram account as well as in real life if I haven't lost weight after giving birth? Yes I have, how contradicting it may seem. People told me when I was younger ... Yes, you might have a nice body now, but after producing a child inside of you and giving birth and the year after, you'll see.
I always thought that would be the truth and came to peace with the thought, but also kept in mind some women I really admire and adore and they always looked more beautiful after having children. Like if that miracle of becoming a mother, the knowledge you get, gives you something special, which is hard to describe.
I gained a normal amount (11kg) during my pregnancy, but couldn't take my walks as usual because of that horrible SPD (foglossning) that stroke me very early, the sickness and the never ending tiredness that was so devastating. After the birth it was the same. Mostly I sat home in our apartment in Stockholm, drained but happy and I was just separated from the rest of the world, totally busy cocooning with this little treasure of mine with a lot of pain down there, tired of getting very little sleep etc. But still i felt a huge admiration towards my body, because after two month I felt it had recovered itself to an extend I never thought was possible. After all the pain, weight, extended tissue and skin - the body just worked biologically perfect (i still had more kg on my body then usual but it seemed so un relevant) and I understood the strength and the power of it.
My respect for myself, the body and how the nature has built us increased enormously. Especially for the female body, is just beyond fascinating and I truly respect it!

I started to feel that I needed to care of it even more and really treated it with the fully attention it deserved. I had neglected my easy exercise that I always did at home and my walks which I did wherever before the pregnancy. Because of the tiredness of being a first time mother and also in a situation without a man as help five days a week, I didn't eat that well and the priorities often went to Alexis instead to me.

In April/May (when Alexis was abut 10-11 month) I seriously felt that I needed to get myself in the right track again, my whole being just screamed for it, I could feel it was suffering from inside. And all i started to do was taking a morning walk about 25-30 minutes almost every morning, or at least five days per week. I made sure I eat a lot of vegetables and did one regular fruit smoothie to me and Alexis per day for the fact that I'm not fond of just eating fruit like that. Our son is also milk protein allergic (not the lactose) and so I had to start cook differently though M and me still uses cream, milk, butter etc, but I couldn't eat it in front of him. Before I easily drank one (!) litre (1000ml) of milk every day. I don't anymore, I don't need it and for the fact it's not healthy to consume so much. I still eat one box of butter per week (M always complains, I put butter on everything) but that is my pleasure and I love it too much to let it go. So some small exercises every day and just started to eat better, no more, no less.

What I want to say is that after birth I understood the physiology of us so much better, it all made sense and I felt I had a big purpose in life to really take care of it and treat it well. I still eat everything, but also a lot of healthy stuff and I try to buy seasonal, cook it correctly and only eat unhealthy things if I really like them, not just out of boredom or because it's there in front of me.
M and me drink some wine to our dinner at least 4 times per week, I have some chocolate almost every evening and we cook normal food, but also have a starter with fresh vegetables before every dinner and we both love it. It's all about finding the balance in everything you do. Sometimes we have weekends where we eat pizza, chips and all of that of course, but then i just make sure to go faster on my walks and maybe a little longer, normally the body tells me how it wants to be treated and after consuming a lot of refined sugar, fat etc, It wants to move itself more. That's just the natural rhythm of the body.

In the November issue of the UK edition of Harpers Bazar, they write about this subject also, how women after birth very often get a little skinnier and not to seldom look better than before. I have a lot of girlfriends which I can see this positive transformation on and I can see how my body is stronger then ever so I think it's true for a lot of people.
It has also has to do with the fact that you seldom sit still as a parent/mother; toddlers run around, you cary them with one hand while doing something else with the other (you should see the muscles on my arms .... ) If you didn't have a well developed simultaneous capacity before, it will improve, it has too. More movement means burning calories and building muscles without even notice.

So one shouldn't be afraid to get pregnant for that reason, maybe it will be something even better in your mind, body and soul after. I surely think mothers are the most beautiful of mammals in this world. Not because of all of this, but because it is hell of a job being a mother and we have so much love, endless understanding and energy when it comes to our children. And we give our life, literally for the sake and wellbeing of them. It's beautiful and deserved a big admiration.

But this way of being a healthy person in general, is what you should aim for. That's how I live my life, with no restrictions, but with a big dose of knowledge and awareness of what my body says to me. I really try to take care of it in my everyday life. Healthy in this case means: eat and drink whatever you feel like but in normal portions. Never eat sweets or chips before you have a sandwich, food or something real, because then you're craving will be unstoppable and one minute later you will have eaten a half chocolate cake and didn't even enjoy it as it should be enjoyed because your body wanted food not chocolate cake. Never drink sodas etc if you're not really crave for it. Water is what should be drunken when thirsty, soda, juice, beer, wine etc is for pleasure in normal quantities. Same with everything in life. Enjoy what you eat, eat slowly, feel it, taste it, sniff it and all of your senses will be fulfilled and you will be satisfied more easily.

I've actually never been so strong in my body as now, after birth which I'm proud and happy for. I've written much more about it HERE, please read if you want!

Have a nice weekend! We're off to Geneva in this snowstorm ...


  1. Tack Stina för en magisk text. Både en och två tårar rann nedför min kind. Din inställning till hälsa är fantastisk. Jag ska ta in vart enda ord av dom och ge dom till min kropp och mind.

    Varma kramar

    1. Good! It's never to late!!! I'm happy for you!

  2. Tack för välskriven text! Jag är gravid i 8 månaden och undrar just om jag någonsin kommer i mina smaljeans igen, du gav mig just hopp.
    Kör försiktigt!
    Kram N.

  3. Tack! det var ett väldigt bra inlägg, och det stämmer ju - man måste finna frid med sin kropp. Det är ju den man bor i, och ibland tror jag vi människor lyssnar för mycket på vad våra hjärnor säger för att märka vad våra kroppar säger.

  4. Really great post and so truth..
    Love Jen

  5. Thank you Stina, I really appreciate your sensible advice! I think you describe a very smart life style without forgetting pleasures of life, too. I read the older post you linked as well and I especially liked the thought: "All of that focus on food and weight can be put into something more intelligent and creative." This is so true, many of us women use so much of our time worrying about weight and food, when it should be an enjoyable thing! This post was truly inspiring! Have a lovely weekend in Geneva and enjoy the winter weather, we have a lot of snow too!

  6. Very well written! Cheers, Linda

  7. It's exactly that. Nothing to say more. Eat well, walk and do not look at each "junk food" fromm time to time or little sweet pleasures once or two...
    The fact Stina is that you, (and me (may be) quite a long time ago...) we had already a good base of structure of body, which is easier to try to keep nice and in shape without too many efforts, we have to be honest to tell that.
    Spend a good week end in Geneva with your family in law. Even very cold.

  8. "Water is what should be drunken when thirsty, soda, juice, beer, wine etc is for pleasure in normal quantities" -- this is so true! It took me until after university to realize how much water a human needs in a day. I can't believe how many calories I wasted trying to quench my thirst with juice!

  9. I noticed the same reg. my body after giving birth to my son in june this year - i'm now thinner than before just because I have no time to be lazy anymore. We do 1hr walks almost every day and carrying my 7kg cutie all day needs also a lot of energy. But how do you manage to cook healthy with a toddler? Sometimes i have just time to put a pizza into the oven instead of preparing fresh food.....I really want to change it.


    1. Katrin, exactly! All the movement is a like daily exercise. I cook quite big and then I eat it sometimes two days in a row. Same for Alexis food which I prepare and freeze i so he always eat mum's home made yummy food.

  10. Fantastic post Stina, thank you!

    Greetings from Sydney.


  11. Tack för ett härligt och inspirerande inlägg.

  12. Dear commentators: Thank you for appreciating the text. This is so important for all of us and it's the best relationship you will have in your life if you get the one with yourself together! It's never to late to strive for something better for mind and body! Trust yourself and listen to your body and RESPECT it's needs!


  13. What an inspiring post! Thank you Stina for taking the time to share this with your readers.

  14. Underbart inlägg! Håller med om allt du säger! Jag anser att livet är för kort för att inte kunna unna sig vin, god mat, grädde etc. Jag kunde dock inte amma mer än två månader, gick upp 15 kg och förlorade faktiskt 12 efter 1 månad. Mina gener är dock inte som dina och jag är ett par år äldre (blev mamma vid 36). Nu sex år senare har jag plötsligt 5 kg plus och tänker: Jag är mamma till en underbar kille, älskar att laga mat, gillar att ta ett par glas vin. Om jag nu inte, trots promenader och lite sporadisk träning inte är samma vikt, så ät det, WHAT THE HECK..Jag har en man och en son som älskar mig och lite mer mage adderar fint till mina redan kvinnliga formaer. Acceptans och insikt är väl orden som är de viktigaste. Om jag väljer detta liv= lite mage. Om jag väljer bort livets goda=smalare. Man lever alldeles för kort tid för att hålla på att bara tänka på kropp och mat. Det finns så mycket viktigare saker att fokusera på!
    Kram från Alexandra

  15. Trash food? Finns inte i det engelska språket. Du menar junk food/fast food?

  16. very true ! I lost a lot of weight after my daughter was born. I also only gained 10 kg during my entire pregnancy. And now I am thinner than I was pre-pregnancy. I think its something with hormones, and of course running around and being busy looking after a little one.